I always loved when Oprah would do her annual “favorite things” holiday list.
So this year, I decided to do my own top 10 favorite things this year. The best part is everything on this holiday list is under $100. From simple pleasures like potted plants to cozy loungewear to some of my favorite treats. Whether you need some gift ideas for a friend or even for yourself, here are a few things that made my 2022 a little more enjoyable.
Best Sleep Mask
The Nod Pod is the best sleep mask ever! My friend, Marsha, gave me one for my birthday, and it is a game-changer. I was never much of a sleep mask person because I don’t like the annoying elastic straps, but this one is different. The material is super soft, and the weighted mask stays in place and is really comfortable. It helps you fall asleep and stay asleep.
Favorite Sweat Pants
Vuori Performance Joggers. These are the most comfortable sweatpants ever. You can wear these for exercise, lounging around the house, or running errands. I wear mine every day! They have definitely replaced my over-reliance on yoga pants. They are versatile, lightweight, and flattering. Once you try them, it will be hard to go wear anything else.
Best Handmade Soap
Kona Natural Soap is not only the best handmade soap in the world, but it is also made in Hawaii. (Full disclosure: My brother and his partner created this company over 15 years ago, but I receive no family discount when I brag about them.) All the soaps are made with essential oils, chemical free, and they smell heavenly.
Best Remedy for Tight Hips
My sister recommended this exercise cushion when I was having issues with my low back and hips. The “wobble” cushion has so many benefits. Great for loosening up your muscles in the morning, during the day after sitting at a desk, or before or after a workout. I use it every day and am loving it.
Best Face Serum
As a woman of a certain age, many of us are looking for the proverbial fountain of youth. And while I continue my search, I have at least found something that is pretty close: Naked & Thriving facial products. This company makes a whole host of facial cleansers, moisturizers, and serums. I have not tried all of their products, but I am loving their Rejuvenate-Restorative facial oil.
Best Dark Chocolate
If you are like me and are always on the quest for the best dark chocolate look no further. “Hu” is the best. They are 70% cacao and all-natural ingredients. Every flavor is delicious. I probably like the “Salty” one best, but since it is so hard to choose, I buy the variety pack.
Best Gluten-Free Bread
My friend, Andrea, introduced me to this incredible gluten-free bakery, Bread Blok. Their loaves of bread are incredible for those who love bread but want to avoid gluten. While are a little pricey, it is made with the highest quality ingredients and no preservatives. Oh, and they ship nationwide! I love the Buckwheat Sourdough.
For those of you who struggle to keep plants alive (like me), but still love having some greenery in your house, this is the plant for you. “Money Trees” are considered a symbol of good fortune, and are simple and easy to maintain. I have loved having a money tree in my home for many years, and so proud that even I haven’t killed it.
Best Beach Bag
Whether you take it to the beach, on an overnighter, or use it as a carry-on, Aloha Bags are the greatest. Not only do they come in a million cute designs, but it’s like you can take a little “Aloha” wherever you go. I have the White with Black pinstripe Day Tripper tote, but I also own several of the cosmetic bags and the fanny pack. All the bags are water-resistant and lightweight. So wherever life takes you, these bags fold up into tiny little pouches and makes traveling a little breezier.
“Stay At Work Mom: Marriage, Kids & Other Disasters” was my favorite laugh-out-loud book this year. I am a big consumer of autobiographies and memoirs, but not since Carrie Fisher’s “Wishful Drinking” have I enjoyed such a brutally honest memoir of a woman struggling to juggle life. Author Liz Astrof is a well-known television comedy writer/producer, but this was her first book (and I cannot wait for her next one). It is such a great read for anyone who has ever struggled with work-life balance and finding comedy in the perils of motherhood.
Happy Holidays and please share some of your favorite things of 2022!